Top 3 Posts From 2014: Ice, More Ice, and Murky Water

Happy New Year’s Eve!

We here at the Center for Limnology wish you a 2015 filled with opportunities to get out on your favorite lake, river, stream or wetland. As a final post of the year, below are snippets of our top 3 posts from the year. As usual, stories about ice and clear water led the way!
1. Ice is Nice: Three Perks to the Polar Vortex

We get it. It is cold. Face (and mind) numbingly cold. But that’s not an “all bad” thing. There’s a lot to like about a real winter. And it begins with ice. Here are three things to celebrate during the winter that brought “polar vortex” into our vocabulary!
1. Ice Caves
Icicle "stalactites" hang from one of Lake Superior's famed "sea" caves. Photo courtesy: UW Superior
For the first time in 5 years, winter temps have been frigid and consistent enough to form lake ice safe enough to walk out to the caves. This recent blog post from our friends at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute takes us there, courtesy of Marie Zhuikov’s short entry. Or check out this from – full of beautiful pictures. If you live within driving distance of the Apostle Islands, this should really be on your bucket list. Just check the ice conditions first. There’s no quicker way to ruin a hike to the ice caves than turning it into a swim! Continue reading
2. Thickest Lake Ice in Decades May Last Into Spring

Ted Bier, our senior research specialist for the Long-Term Ecological Research program, was recently photographed on Lake Monona holding this massive chunk of ice in front of the Madison skyline.
Ted Bier hoists a two-foot thick chunk of ice on Lake Monona. Photo: Kirsten Rhude
That picture led to the following story on The Capital Times website.
3. Clear-Water Phase: Are We Missing Lake Mendota’s Window?

Lake Monona's already doing it, why aren't Mendota's waters this clear? Photo: A. Hinterthuer

As always, thanks for reading! We’ll see you next year.